Architects can often make large embodied carbon reductions with cost-neutral measures. A 2021 report from RMI found that case studies had embodied carbon savings of 24–46% at cost premiums of less than 1%. Even greater reductions can be achieved through prioritizing design strategies early in a project to reduce embodied carbon.
Strategies for Reducing Embodied Carbon in Buildings
- Build less, reuse more by extending the life of existing buildings and materials.
- Build lighter and smarter with less of a given material (or floor area) to do the same work.
- Substitute low-carbon materials for high-carbon ones.
- Procure low(er)-carbon product selection.